I’m finally getting around to adding content to my portfolio. Today I added ‘Text The Throne” a projection based installation that was my final for Clay Shirky’s ‘Designing Conversation Spaces’ class in collaboration with a few other students. Text The Throne digitizes bathroom stall graffiti and creates a forum for conversation between the men’s and women’s bathrooms. This projection based project displays a collage of messages, viewable only when the bathroom stall is locked. The projection is identical in each bathroom. What is seen in the women’s room is what is seen in the men’s room.
When a person enters a stall, they are greeted by a sign, encouraging them to submit a message via SMS to be displayed on the men’s and women’s bathroom walls. Instantly after submission, the user’s message is added to the collage and can be seen in both bathrooms. The messages are completely anonymous, unable to be identified by name, phone number or gender.
This was a fun project to work on and learned a lot not only about programing such systems but also fabrication and installation.
Before the digital days when we were still cranking film into our cameras I remember going out equipped with a Leica or Rolliflex and looking for characters to shoot portraits of. I stopped doing that once I started shooting digitally. Not sure why, it just never felt the same. The introduction of high end prosumer digital cameras changed the landscape of street photography, I guess, in a way that didn’t sit well with me.
Asking to take someones photograph in the analog era was an engaging intimate experience, at least for me. I would connect with and learn about the people I was photographing. There was a mutual respect and people were genuinely enthused because they weren’t asked to be photographed very often. I would introduce myself and ask them if I could photograph them and more often then not they would reply with “Why?” or “What is it for?” a response that came from curiosity and not skepticism.
Now with a camera in everyones pocket and all of our moves being documented on Instagram and other social media platforms we have become desensitized to this kind of imagery. Most people dont care to question why they are being photographed.
I few days ago I decided to take a walk with my camera and take a few street portraits. I hadn’t done this in a while and was interested in seeing what kind of results I would get. I asked a few people if I could photograph them and all of them agreed. However no one really questioned or cared why I was photographing them they just wanted to know where they would end up or wanted to see what I had shot on the camera. Most were a variation of “Are you posting this on Instagram/blog/facebook?”. This is something I would never get asked in the pre digital era, and I liked not knowing what the photograph looked like, where it was going, or if it was even good. I liked that mystery and the sense of discovery when going through the negatives and finding a shot I remembered being really excited about taking. I also liked the connection I felt with people and the conversations I had, they weren’t clouded with a narcissistic desire to see how good your photo came out or what social media platform your images would end up on.
Anyway, I’m not really sure where I’m going with all this…here are two photos from that walk I took.
Vine is a an iOS app that was released about a month ago and it lets the user create short form videos limited to 6 seconds, and I have become obsessed with it. When it comes to UX Vine does a lot of things right especially its hold-to-record format which makes it incredible easy to shoot videos with some sort of a narrative arc to it.
Here are some Vines that I have created. If you havent already, download the app and follow me @atifateeq.
Somehow I got dust on the sensor or inside the lens of my Canon S95 and since it’s out of warranty I got a quote to see how much it would cost to get it cleaned. Turns out it was more than I was willing to spend to get a camera fixed to I just used it as an excuse to upgrade to the S110.
I received it about a month ago, the day of the blizzard, and thought that was a perfect opportunity to step out and take some test shots. I was pretty impressed with the quality of imagery, in my opinion this is the perfect point and shoot camera. Yes, its a bit pricey but definitely worth it. I’ve been using it for about a month now and have had no complaints at all.
….except my camera decided to stop working right before Himanshu came on stage. Bummer.
Every first Saturday of the month Taget partners up with the Brooklyn Museum and throws a series of events throughout the day. Everything from performances to interactive workshops, talks, and exhibits are part of the schedule. I try and stop by every few months.
The Himanshu show was great, pretty much ended up being a DR show minus Vic tied in with a Greenhead showcase. Pretty fun range of performances if this is what you are into.
Additionally the current Mickalene Thomas “Origin of the Universe” exhibit is super dope. That showing alone is definitely worth the visit.